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Another Lonely Preface

Another Lonely Preface

Empires will evolve, crumble, scatter, shift, flowing. Beliefs will change and shimmer in the bouncing light.

We think that this group of people conquered that group, or these people’s ideas won out over those people’s ideas, but the truth is more complicated. Look back a little ways down the family tree and someone’s hand was forced–your forbearers too were won over by this and that culture with this amount of pleasurable, relaxing, safehavening seduction and that amount of blunt force. And both individuals and groups are actually open spaces where ideas and feelings collide: wisdom is growing kind enough for the heartofthematter to conquer, colonising the landscape with enough compassionate, honest, aware ideas and sentiments to fend off the marauders–hate, envy, greed, fear, boredom, pettiness, meanness, half-assedness, dishonesty, and the like–and allow the Light to fill the space and light the way.

The besouled will slide from one loci of thoughts/feelings/actions to another, always surging up and crashing down and drifting up and drifting down on waves of their own collective making.
Or so I heard one day in line at the drugstore, waiting to be ushered to the cash register, watching the clerk–with his long face and tall strong teeth, his roll-top forehead and square, forward-leaning jaw–nod with big eager, milk-soft eyes. “Oh yes, some people are just so blessed! I just never get over how blessed some people are!” The customer was legion–every age, every shape, every color, every accent, every worldview, every mood. Sometimes the exchange lasted longer than others, but always the need for a fair progression and smooth operation carried each purchaser away quickly and cordially, small plastic bag swinging with their speed and rhythm, perturbing it perhaps but every so slightly, imperceptibly, perhaps–who can say?–inconsequentially.
Who did I hear it from? I thought a little bird told me, but voici the chain’s spokesman:
“We can unequivocally state that company policy has no place for birds fluttering and hopping about, defecating in their bowel-less, random, drizzling way. We can further confirm that after extensive review of security footage on the day of the allegations, there were absolutely no birds in the unfortunately unfairly slandered store. Finally, we consider customer service our top-priority and shining glory, and birds giving customers wonky, impracticable, and confusing ideas about the deeper nature of things have no place in our store. Unless, of course, the customer, who in all our reflections must and does always come first, enjoys the companionship of the feathery vermin and/or self-identifies with the philosophical positions, in such instances and to such shoppers, we say this: we are with you, we support you, and, you now maybe many of us agree with the bird and its chatter–why I wouldn’t be surprised if that bird and it’s attitudes influence our business practices.”
So, who knows?

Bartleby WIllard

Introduction: Love at a Reasonable Price

Introduction: Love at a Reasonable Price

Bartleby Willard has decided to move into The Wandering Albatross Press Building and begin writing for Wandering Albatross Press. We at WAP are extremely busy capturing, reflecting, and refracting the infinite worlds swirling outside and inside of us. As such, we do not have the excess time, energy, and focus required to explain to Bartleby that you cannot just walk into publishing houses and declare yourself a live-in staff-writer. Also, on the whole we find him pleasant. Furthermore, since he sleeps on the WAP premises, it is easy for him to have the coffee ready when the rest of us arrive at about 8:00 a.m. sharp each weekday.

Finally, he is very tidy and has adopted the kitchen and library, making these two ancient and wise rooms (if places can be considered “wise”—and why not?: what’s a human being but a place for the Something Deeper to live in and through?) sparkle with a youthful and nearly (I said “nearly”!) sexual vigor. I hasten to add that he’s achieved this sparkle without compromising either room’s fundamental decency. Kitchen and Library now have more energy—giggles bubble up more often; and the infinitely expanding and all-enveloping universes born of these giggles pop with infinitely long elastic/filmy/wet kisses with a louder and fuller “smauack!” than before—but their essential kindness remains very much intact.

Bartleby is writing a series of short stories entitled Love at a Reasonable Price. He’s become interested in a kind of funny idea: manufacturing Pure Love (love that is prior to feelings and ideas and that infinitely accepts, lifts-up, cares-for, helps, and gives) in a fictional factory, transferring that Pure Love into reality, and selling It affordably yet still profitably on the open market. “And voilà: the first truly useful business in human history!”

We at WAP understand that you cannot manufacture Pure Love in fictional factories, transport It into reality, and then market and sell It to other people. Additionally, we are not even sure that if you could, you should. But! of course you can’t. Anyway, Pure Love already gives Itself infinitely to everyone and everything, so selling it is even more ridiculous than selling air or that delicious self-dom sensed as you gaze out at nothingmuch, watching your own watching grow quiet and sharp.

Does Bartleby know all this? Mmm. He seems to consider this project of his a joke. However, he takes jokes amazingly seriously, so seriously that one is tempted to say, “That man believes in jokes! My God! He really does!”.

Let’s you and I resolve to be reasonable, to let him have his fun but hunker way down into the wholesome knowledge that no one—not even the elastically spinning Bartleby Willard of the poignantly explosive Wandering Albatross Press—sells Pure Love.

But what wares does Bartleby, with his face soot-smudged and his old tin cup looped into his thick leather belt, peddle? Some stories about manufacturing, marketing, and selling Pure Love. And some other stories. And by “stories” we mean whatever Bartleby means by “stories.” And Bartleby Williard is not much of a literalist.

Bartleby will write what he writes and we’ll keep a running tally in the “Chapters” section.


And so it began, years and years ago now. I kept falling this way and that, but–one end of a thick, scratchy, fraying rope around my waist and the other anchored to a vaguely evolving plan–my staggering went round and round this project, winding me into it more and more; and now it’s time to push my long imaginary hands against the rusty iron bars (square staves twisted like drill bits) and shudder as the forgotten manor gate swings wide open with a piercing shriek or a mournful, yawning three-stage creak; or just squeaks a little forward and then, overgrown with vines not just emotionally but physically as well, bounces back at me.

I hope the project goes well. I hope it is good for writer, reader, and the space between. I appreciate you spending money, time, and focus on this book; I’ll try to make it worth your while.


Bartleby Willard
June 17, 2015, 7:35pm
Midtown Manhattan Library

PS: I think I’ll alternate stories of making, manufacturing, advertising, and selling Pure Love with stories about my life and times at WAP.

Oh, and this one more time:

But insofar as this is a commercial venture, we still need it fundamentally grounded not in profit-motive, but in kind-delight. So cross your fingers for us; say a prayer for us; keep a gentle but stern, a wary but hopeful eye on us. Help us to try.

Afternote: What is this? It is an introduction to the “Love at a Reasonable Price” blogbook project. The bulk of it was written ages ago–absolutely lightyears ago! And then BW tacked on that extra bit while pausing his commotion at the Midtown Manhattan Library some gently warm June eve. Originally, it was just in the evolving ebook, but now it is here up on the worldwide web for the widest possible audience. We’re slowly putting together two ebooks titled “Love at a Reasonable Price” and “Diary of an Adamant Seducer”. Access to the ongoing attempt can be found here: Buy the Books. For a list of what we’ve currently posted in “Love at a Reasonable Price”, go here: Intro to Love at a Reasonable Price; for a list of what so far constitutes “Diary of an Adamant Seducer”: Intro to Diary of an Adamant Seducer.

From “The Pitch”

From “The Pitch”

[This is the beginning of “The Pitch”, which is part of “First Loves”, available on this site for $2.99 (see “Buy the Books”). So, yeah: basically free. The effort is clicking into your Amazon or B&N account, and then taking the time to read it. We’re not saying you should. We’re just saying it’s here if you feel so moved.]

The Pitch!

A Note on the Text:

This story is one of several dozen Olden Times IIVa1 (OT IIVa1) Skullvalley After Whistletown Booksellers (SAWB) texts, written with gritty charcoal ink on supple papyrus parchment and preserved in near mint condition by the brittle air of the Relatively Great Desert in what is now The Old West, USA.
Through how many world-cycles these wonderful tales slumbered, resting in oblivion as only decoderless information can! But then suddenly in 1832, for no apparent reason (though most commentators agree some peeved god or goddess must surely have been involved), the rich soft silky-smooth silence was shattered when self-celebrated mountainman Constantine Clement George, while recreationally blasting a mile or so outside the small tumbleweed town of Gull’s Gulch, unearthed three long tunnels burrowed into sandstone cliffs 150 feet above the desert floor. Investigating, George discovered—in chambers decorated with all the antiquated pomp of a pharaoh’s tomb—six slender clay jars stuffed with tightly rolled parchments.

George, a self-described “romantic robin a pecking at the egg forever and evermore”, initially used the priceless archaeological find as a rendezvous for “the more hightided, and of sorts cultured ladies”. But, despite one and all pledging “to herefore in the future not now nor never reveal nor hint upon nor never ever so much as wink coy as respecting the whereabouts of this sacred and holy alcove where the spirit of knowing and the dove of roosting do together combine to one another; and for if I do divulge whatsoever of these exalted hollows or their indubitous inhabitants, I pray that God may in holy and righteous vengeance strike me dead, having first, by especial intervention of the Holy Spirit — which I understand to be, by miraculous divinity, in indubitabilty no other than, but yet also in that same authenticated indubulation other than, God the Father ‘Ol Pops — ripped forthwith out my tongue and eyes, and, in due salutation of my abjection, flung them onto the floor, be it ever so becrudded”, at least some of the chorus girls, prostitutes, and — if Constantine’s braggadocio can be trusted — “some goodly count of respectable damatsells of white and blameless knickers” began to talk. And so, after Clement had enjoyed almost six months of “blameless spirituous joy”, the local authorities confiscated the site and strictly forbade “all antenuptial cavortations in and around but not limited to caves of ancient learning”.

But strange and heart-rending to report, the Gull’s Gulch authorities proved singularly incapable of grasping the value of the find or their duty to human knowledge (it is beneath me as a man of science to dwell on the incompetence of others, but it is outside me as a man of conscious to not cry a loud and forceful “Foul!!!!!” on the clearly willful ignorance and grubby-mindedness of the ruling elite [such as they were] of Gull’s Gulch throughout the entire 19th Century: !!IDIOTS!!). Things went terribly wrong and the precious documents entered a dark and dangerous time. The details so sicken my educated gut and tremble my scholarly fingers that I cannot bear relate the shameful mishandling of the single most important source of Olden Times SAWB cultural history.

{Editor’s Note:
The scholarly intro goes on in this vein for a while, and then it is signed by:

Bartholomew von Ooblichstein,
WAP Studies, Didd State University
Summer Break (hooray!) 2015

And then the Text proper begins.}

The whole thing is always copyright by AMW, whatever that is.

Blog Book Project Introduction

Blog Book Project Introduction

Blog Book Introduction

Hello Worlds!

This is Love at a Reasonable Price, a blog and a book by the fictional Bartleby Willard, an originally unbidden but now beloved writer-in-residence at Wandering Albatross Press, the world’s only truly eternal (existing prior to timespace and within every momentspot) publishing house.

The plan: Each week, Bartleby, who has been writing and forgetting for years, and his editor Andy Watson, who has been sheepishly shrugging his shoulders for years, will select something from the dusty pile; edit and otherwise complete it; write a blog entry that in some way compliments the selection; and then release the former into an evolving ebook and the latter into this blog.

For intro and access to the ebook, float up to the upper right hand corner of this blog–up to the “Buy the Book” link; or just fall yourself through this Book Link. What will Bartleby’s wondrous first book be? Will it be anything at all? Hmmmm. Buying this evolving and so not yet evolved book is a risk of ten US American dollars. But purchasing literary endeavors is always a risk of time and money (insofar as time = money, we can speak of a risk of timemoney).

Please keep in mind that this blog is enmeshed within the international capitalistic economy. Not only is it hawking a book version of itself, it is raising awareness for the entire product line of Wandering Albatross Press, which currently includes TOTES DECORATED WITH WHIMSYING CATS

But to return to the fly-by-night within this book writing procedure: Yes, I, Bartleby Willard, your author, your dashing young novelty, am still the sorcerer’s understudy. Perhaps, indeed most likely or rather almost certainly, any book that arrives through the above outlined process will be but a sketchbook, a book of literary doodles. How could such a wildly respectable publishing house publish the sketchbook of a young, wind-swept, wave-tossed, bramble-beaten, muddy-eyed fictional personage? But Wandering Albatross Press, you see, has a great affinity for great sweeping works of doodling. And no one here in the WAP office in Somewhere Sometime Wall Street; I say, no one here can stand another year of BW writing, AMW shrugging, and the papers piling up and up and up. So let them try something! Anything! Please!

Enough; it is not time for me to write a novel, nor even a collection of short stories, and yet it is time for me to write something, and so here comes this jumble tumble. But with some kind of cohesion: Much will be said about manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling Pure Love (an eternal good: the essential core of all particular loves;–giving infinitely, without looking for any justification or recompense); and much about Wandering Albatross Press and its new uninvited, unhired, but befriended and encouraged author.

Yours in the inevitability of kindness and the incidentallity of all else,

Bartleby Willard, self-imposed live-in staff writer for the bemused Wandering Albatross Press
Not so very long ago
The thundering Wandering Albatross Press Building at sometime somewhere Wall Street, NYC


The long-play version of this introduction includes another possible explanation for the contradictory plot lines, some charming metaphysical assumptions, and a few other flourishes. The book is

We do sell Cat Totes


About this project:

We’re letting Bartleby write his book; we’re even publishing it for him; it is a loosely bound sketchbook: stories of his time here at Wandering Albatross Press interspersed with writings from that time or from now but somehow connected to that time; the supplementary writings will be mostly stories about manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling Pure Love. This blog will consist of extracts from the book’s chapters as they are released into the lumiferous aether. You can buy BW’s book as he writes it here. You can also consider this blog a long advertisement for Wandering Albatross Press’s some-such-several wonderful products; like . You can also view this blog as it’s own thing–a good unto itself–and as such a sweet, chaste little kiss running through the infomaterous aether (the theory of a lumiferous ether through which electromagetic waves move is no longer widely accepted and its originators all long dead; it is very much in the public domain and so publishing houses, such as the beautiful WAP, can use it any way they please). But insofar as this is a commercial venture, we still need it fundamentally grounded not in profit-motive, but in kind delight. So cross your fingers for us; say a prayer for us; keep a gentle but stern, a wary but hopeful eye on us. Help us to try. Or at least let us try.

Author: Bartleby Willard, fictional character

Copyright holder/editor: Andrew Mackenzie Watson (of the Sand Springs Watsons)